Passings: Floyd "Buddy" McRae, Last Surviving Member of the Chords

The Chords (McRae on Right)
Floyd "Buddy" McRae, the last surviving member of the 50's Doo Wop group The Chords, died on Tuesday afternoon at Montifiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

McRae's son sent an e-mail to a media source that eventually was passed around to other boards saying:
Good afternoon. This email is to inform you that my father, Floyd "Buddy" McRae, the last surviving member of the Chords has passed away this early afternoon at Montifiore Medical Center in the Bronx. I'm sure you already know that his group produced the famous 1954 hit, "Sh-Boom " "Life could be a Dream". I am one of his sons, Floyd F. McRae, II. He will be missed.
McRae was second tenor in the group which formed in 1951 but wasn't discovered until three years later when their performance was seen in a subway station in New York. They signed with Cat Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic, and Jerry Wexler had them cover the Patti Page hit Cross Over the Bridge. for their first release.

It was the flip side of the record that took off on radio. Sh-Boom was the first R&B record to cross over to white audiences and make it to the top ten (three others, the Dominoes' Sixty Minute Man, the Orioles' Crying in the Chapel and the Crows' Gee had previously made the top twenty but didn't crack the top ten). It rose up the charts to number 9 on the Pop chart and number 3 on the R&B chart.

The group tried to find another hit and went through a number of personnel and name changes (Chords was changed to Chordcats after another Chords was found to exist and, eventually to the Sh-Booms) but their fame was fleeting and they broke up in 1960.

2 comments

Ricci said...

It's been a long time since I first heard the tune. "Life Is But A Dream" That was the summer. Of 1955 in Panama. I've never forgotten the song. The final member of The Chords. The legendary Floyd "Buddy" Mcrae has left us. But the memories lingers on. To the McRae family Blessings in this hour. -.Ricci De La Espada

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Buddy. He and the fellas practiced in our hallway at times, before they were famous. (756 Home St. & Forest Ave. It no longer exists, but the memories linger on). He did live to see part of Jennings St. named for the group.

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